Visitor gets ‘helping hand’
Although it would have been easier to pass the buck when McPherson County dropped a hitchhiker off in Hillsboro, Marion County Sheriff’s Department took a more humanitarian approach, with assistance from the Marion Ministerial Alliance.
McPherson County Sheriff’s Department notified Marion County it would be dropping off the hitchhiker, who was on his way to Missouri, about 10:23 p.m., when storms were going through the county.
The hitchhiker was left in Hillsboro along U.S. 56 about 10:42 p.m. by 11:07 p.m., a room had been secured for him in a Hillsboro hotel.
The room rent was paid for with a grant from the Marion Ministerial Alliance’s “Helping Hands Fund.” More often the fund is used to provide help with utility bills, treasurer Jeremiah Lange said.
Sheriff Rob Craft said there aren’t many cases like this. Lots of hitchhikers come through the county, and sometimes — but not always — deputies will drive them to a gas station on their way to wherever they are going. But unusual circumstances created by the storm “precluded leaving him out there to get soaked,” Craft said.
“We’re not going to kick someone out in the middle of a storm,” he said.
The Helping Hands Fund is supported by donations. People wishing to donate can give a check payable to the Marion Ministerial Alliance to any minister in the Marion, Lincolnville, or Florence area, Lange said.